When the rumors of Andrew Bynum possibly coming to Cleveland started to get hot, my immediate thought was… no, not a chance.
It is not a surprise that the Cavaliers are rumored to be included in the Dwight Howard deal. The Cavs posses what all teams want; multiple draft picks and plenty of cap space. They are one of few teams that could step in and finalize this Howard deal.
But Chris Grant won’t pull the trigger if he’s not striking gold in the deal.
The Cavs hold seven draft picks in the next three years thanks to the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings. To acquire Bynum in this three-team trade it would cost Anderson Varejao or Tristan Thompson and two additional first-round draft picks. We would bring in Bynum as well as a bad contract like Jason Richardson who has three-years/15 million remaining on his contract.
When dealing with a three-team trade there are many obstacles each team has to get by. The concerns the Lakers and Cavs are facing are getting the All-Star centers to agree to an extension. According to multiple sources, Howard is ready to play for LA and sign the extension. At this point, anything to get him out of Orlando is an option.
Bynum is in a bit of a more difficult situation now. Similar to the Lakers, the only way the Cavs agree to the trade is if Bynum will agree to an extension. But at this point, Bynum signing the contract extension for the Cavs may be out of the question. In a business standpoint, he can make more money after the 2012-13 season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
If he signs an extension now, he can receive a max deal, in the range of $17-18 million, for four years. But if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he can receive an additional year making it a five-year contract with the same amount of money. So for Bynum, it’s a matter of getting the better deal.
If this three-team deal does happen, which I don’t think it will, it will define Chris Grant’s tenure in Cleveland.
With that being said, I don’t think Grant is willing to part ways with his first-round picks he acquired, to bring in an all-star center that has a long history of injuries. I’m not saying that Bynum will never be in a Cavs uniform because reports have said he has expressed interest in playing in Cleveland, I just don’t see it happening before the season begins.
If Bynum does find himself in a Cavalier uniform next year, that instantly makes them at least a five seed in the east. It makes the Cavs a good team, but not good enough to contend with Miami; then again, what teams in the east can?
There are a lot of things that each team has to agree upon to which makes all three side hard to agree to terms.
Orlando is said to be in no rush to deal Howard. But if I was a betting man, they will not be bringing him into training camp in the beginning of the 2012 season. So they are sitting back patiently waiting to see the best offer they can get from LA or Houston.
Orlando’s biggest concern is to dump the terrible contracts they hold with Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glen Davis.
The Magic appear to be in a terrible position and don’t appear to be a good team for a while. But in defense to the Magic GM, Rob Hennigan, he was brought into a terrible situation having to rebuild this team, while trading your franchise player.
Time is ticking for Orlando, but they will still continue to be cautious in their trade talks with teams. Soon the Dwight Howard Saga will come to an end and all NBA news will not revolve around this trade. But you can’t be too frustrated with these trade rumors Cleveland; at least he hasn’t created an ESPN television show called The Indecision.